If you need to have likable, believable characters, this IS NOT the book you need to read. If you need to have nice tidy endings with some deep revelations, this IS NOT the book! Ridiculousness, trash-talking, and riffing is the grit that carries the year long correspondence between the whack-a-loons that make up for hilarous, slightly offensive, quirky “novel”.
Strom Thurmond actually shows up a little over half-way through the book. The correspondences of all involved only document the PROPOSED book title as Strom is trying to “clean-up” his act has he realizes his mortality is near. I kept thinking that the Barton Wilkes character was going to be a manifestation of Strom’s senility…was I right in thinking so? You’ll just have to read it for yourself. The book is good for some laugh out loud moments and may be of deeper interest if you happen to work in politics, academia, and/or publishing. I will hold to the assertion that this book was Everett’s and Kincaid’s statement to the establishment saying “all Y’all can kiss my ass!”
Online info regarding James Kincaid who I am unfamiliar with prior to this book left me disturbed and cold. The sexual proclivities found in the novel could be his contribution to the book. It was my suspicion that the sexual references added shock-value and elevated the bizarre faculties of all involved and was a way to keep the characters at a distance from the reader. After a much generalized info on Kincaid’s research interests, however, it may have to do more with Kincaid’s research assertions which are not quite clear to me and troubling enough that I don’t want to investigate further. I might consider reading Erasure by Everett in the far-off future since somewhere online I read that it garnered him many enemies, both Black and White.